2831 Tasting Notes

95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2831 tasting notes

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99

This was definitely a weekend of indulging in favourites, mostly because I was away from home for most of the weekend and didn’t have the time to write notes/think about new teas/properly brew things (though at least the boy has a nice kettle!!) So I drank yet another delicious cup of Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha :) I’m on track to finish this packet within about a month/month and a half of receiving it. Given the fact that I don’t think I’ve finished any other packets of tea I have purchased (aside from sample sizes), this is pretty big. Though, if I don’t get my hands on a re-blend, I might have to draw out my supply a bit more…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Me too! I’m already half done mine.

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98
drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

Good old dependable milk oolong. I’ve also established that this one does well in the Timolino, and actually can be successfully steeped in it without off-flavours! Hurray! I enjoyed a cup of this plus a re-infusion at a board games day with my boyfriend today. They drank pop; I drank delicious milk oolong. Clearly the superior beverage :D

TheTeaFairy

You definitely got the best drink miss Kittenna! Mmmm that milk oolong is so delectable…

Kittenna

Hahaha, definitely! Now to convince my boyfriend of that fact….

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68
drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
2831 tasting notes

Hmm, so I made some of this up to take alongside my Pot O’ Gold on Saturday (and even sweetened it with rock sugar as recommended!) but it wasn’t doing it for me that day. The base was coming off as too weak, and the flavouring as somewhat artificial. Not sure why, but I’ll be having it again at some point, and hopefully it’s tastier then! I remember it as being so before!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Helena

It’s not one of my favourites (Almond Cookie is better and highly recommended)

Sil

See and I’d put this one before almond cookie heh. Although the grapefruit dragonwell is pretty kick ass.

momo

I would too, but that’s because I don’t like almond flavoring haha.

Kittenna

I actually don’t think I’ve tried Butiki’s Almond Cookie, though Azzrian may have sent me some.

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67
drank Pot O' Gold by 52teas
2831 tasting notes

Brewed up a cup of this to take to the boy’s house on Saturday. It survived thermosing quite well, so I’m thinking that it’s going to become a regular tea for me to brew up and pop in the Timolino first thing in the morning (along with Cashew Turtle, Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Laoshan Black). I can’t recall recall the flavouring, but it was tasty/butterscotchy, and if astringent, it was mild. Tasty tasty. I’m thrilled that I got a package of this in my grab bag!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Buttercream by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

I hate how much I adore this tea!!! It has quickly progressed to being one of my absolute favourite flavoured teas, and it’s completely unavailable, aside from a few generous Steepsters who have sent/are sending me some. I wish I could petition DT to bring it back, but I’m pretty sure I would be unsuccessful. Oh well, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
momo

I will lobby with you.

TheTeaFairy

I also like this one a lot and that brings me to question DT’s decisions on choosing what comes and goes…so this one is not worthy but awful creme de menthe pu’erh gets to stay forever? What up with that?

Kittenna

:D Hahaha. Yeah, the creme de menthe pu’erh was awful. So is Cherry Cola. Can’t Buttercream come back even just as an online exclusive? :(

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80
drank Vanilla Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
2831 tasting notes

Enjoying a big cup of this thanks to Robyn!

The aroma is deliciously vanilla-y and creamy, and the flavour closely matches, with a lovely vanilla aftertaste, although there’s almost a bit of a sour note showing up. I can’t really tell that the base here is oolong, aside from a little bit of an oolongy aftertaste. I personally think that this oolong could have been executed a little bit better, but it is still pretty tasty to drink as is. Thanks again for passing this along, Robyn – it definitely has a better home here! :)

ETA: Whoops, oversteeped second infusion (4.5 or 5 minutes or however long I infused it for was too long). I was amused however, at the fact that when trying to figure out which tea was in the infuser, I could have sworn it was Citron Oolong in this one. So apparently I seem to be picking up some sort of lemoniness. I can kind of taste it in the cup as well. Not entirely sure I like it, but that’s ok! I suspect this one can continue for another infusion or so, but I think I’ve had enough of it for now. I’ll steep it properly next time…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Blackberry Mojito by Teavana
2831 tasting notes

I seem to have a low tolerance for drinking a solid panel of straight teas recently, so this is one of possibly a few flavoured teas I’m throwing into the mix tonight, courtesy of Momo!

I haven’t tried a great deal of tea from Teavana, but am not expecting to be too impressed given the generally low view of the company on here (although this tea does have a good rating). I followed the instructions (almost) and brewed this one at 79C for 1:15… it was quite dark at that time already, so I’m worried about hibiscus, although such a short infusion should have tamed it sufficiently… I hope.

The aroma is kind of a fake-fruity sort. Kind of sweet; I can’t pick out anything specific, although there may be a hint of mint coming through. Flavourwise… this is interesting. It definitely tastes like a candy I’ve had in the past, although I can’t pinpoint which. The mint is actually blended in quite well here, to result in a refreshing aftertaste but a lack of overwhelming mintiness, which I would have disliked. The rest of the sip is a slightly tart, fakey-fruity flavour.

Honestly, I can see how people would enjoy this one, and I’m not finding it particularly bad, but it’s no longer my cup of tea. It reminds me a fair bit of Raspberry Zinger from Celestial Seasonings, which I used to love, and no longer really enjoy at all, since I’ve discovered how many other, much more delicious flavours are out there!

That said, I appreciate you sending me a bit of this, Momo! My curiosity wouldn’t have been sated otherwise :D

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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94
drank Gen Mai Cha by SerendipiTea
2831 tasting notes

The last time I tried this genmaicha (which was a part of my awesome swap package from Missy & Dylan a while back), I couldn’t taste much, so couldn’t really review it. This time, however…. WOW! This is one delicious genmaicha! I both smell and taste almost a vanilla-y flavour, which could potentially be from cross-contamination, but fits in beautifully with the toasty rice and slightly astringent/seaweedy green tea. Reminds me of a more toasty version of 52teas’ Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha. I am really really enjoying this! The one downside is that I think I brewed this a touch too strong, but it’s only a touch – it just brings out a bit of astringency from the green tea that I’d rather tuck back in behind the toasty rice.

Thanks SO MUCH for this sample! If Frank doesn’t bring back enough Marshmallow Treat for me to be satisfied, I’ll look into picking some up this up and… adding marshmallows to flavour it myself?!

ETA: Second cup (2:30/82C) doesn’t have the vanilla overtones, and is pretty much your basic light genmaicha. Decent and drinkable, but nothing special.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
LiberTEAS

You could also add a vanilla bean to the package that you keep the genmaicha in to add notes of vanilla to the tea.

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91
drank Golden Oolong by Peony Tea S.
2831 tasting notes

Thanks to Derek at Peony Tea S. for a free sample of this tea during their shipping times test!

Although the instructions indicated 4g of tea for 100mL of water, I went with 5g of tea for ~200mL water (though I kind of regret it now, so will probably try the recommended infusion method later). I also left the tea in for twice the recommended infusion time, as after 45 seconds, I didn’t think the tea would have much flavour. And sipped it, and burnt my tongue :( Anyways…

The aroma from the tea is of a light sweet oolong, but I have to note that I also took a sniff of the wet leaves, and got this crazy sweet seaweed aroma! Absolutely delicious! Kind of like those sweet, seaweed-wrapped crunchy snacks. Delish. I wish the tea smelled/tasted like that, but I suspect it won’t.

Sure enough, the tea doesn’t taste quite like that, but there is an absolutely delicious, mouth-enveloping sweetness. I want to call it rock sugar, but it’s much more complex than that. It’s a familiar flavour; I assume I’ve tasted it before with other oolongs. It’s one I could sip for days, though (until it got to be too sweet). The sip finishes with a nice oolong aftertaste, which is absolutely divine. There’s a bit of a vegetal flavour interspersed in here, but it’s not prominent, as the sweetness really takes over. I suspect subsequent infusions to become more vegetal and less sweet, however.

This tea is definitely a winner! I think I was quite pleased with all the selections I was sent as part of this testing process, so hopefully I will have the funds to make a purchase from Peony Tea S. sometime in the near future!

ETA: Second infusion (2 min/90C) still smells rather sweet and delicious. The cup’s a bit stronger this time, perhaps a touch oversteeped (it’s a little metallic), but other than that, is still quite sweet and pleasant, and not as vegetal as I was expecting.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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